Saturday, April 19, 2014

Oliver Jeffers: 'The U2 thing just came together by chance'

Jeffers last year directed the video for U2's single "Ordinary Love". "The U2 thing just came together by chance," he says. Bono's wife used to read Jeffers' books to her children, and one day he and Bono met for a drink. "And one thing led to another. That's the way I work. Nothing's really planned – it's organic."

In Jeffers' self-defined three categories of work – "the books I make, the paintings I do, and Other" – the U2 video counts as Other. For a long time, he supported his own art by taking on commercial illustration work, but he's now in the fortunate position of being able to pick and choose what Other stuff he wants to do. "I make art for love rather than money," he says. "The difference is, now I'm able to make money by making art for love." After years of exhausting effort – he suffered for a time from insomnia – he's also now worked out a fine work‑life balance. His wife acts as his manager. "There's no way I could manage this amount of work without help. I'm basically running two or three careers at once."

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